A friend of mine was recently having trouble with a cinnamon roll recipe and asked for advice (dough wasn't rising). I hadn't made them in years, so decided that it was time for a test run. I chose a Cinnabon clone recipe from Allrecipes I believe, but made some alterations. Many cinnamon roll recipes call for a bread machine. I had one, but didn't care for the texture of the crust on the bread from a machine, so off to the yard sale it went. I used my Kitchenaid mixer to do most of the kneading of the dough for me, but you could do it all by hand if you would like.
I like to add a pinch of sugar, brown sugar or honey to my yeast/milk (or water depending on the recipe). Seems to make the yeast proof a little better. Your proofed yeast mixture should look similar to this when it's ready to go
1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
4 1/2 cups AP flour
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 package (4 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Combine warm milk and yeast in medium mixing bowl (I like to add a pinch of sugar or brown sugar). Let stand approx 10 minutes, until yeast is foamy
In bowl of electric mixer, add half of the flour, and the yeast mixture. Combine. Then add eggs, salt, and white sugar. Add in small amounts of the rest of the flour until dough is all mixed
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead into a ball (mixer will have done most of the work for you). Place in bowl sprayed with baking spray. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Set aside to rise
After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
Roll dough into a 16x21-inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.
Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.